On June 21-25, 2009, The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) convened its 19th World Congress for Sexual Health titled "Sexual Health and Rights: A Global Challenge" in Göteborg, Sweden. The meeting brought together global sexual health experts including clinicians, researchers, educators, activists, and policy makers, to address the most urgent issues of contemporary sexual health.
The biennial meeting was designed to reflects the eight priorities of the WAS Declaration for the Millennium and echoes the urgent need for action to ensure sexual health and rights for all. Lars-Gösta Dahlöf, President of the Congress encouraged participation by saying, "It is more than ever necessary to pool international resources to fight fear, prejudice, ignorance and violence, and to meet the challenge of safeguarding the core values of human sexuality, as we respect life itself, love, intimacy, pleasure and self-acknowledgement."
The conference was attended by a broad spectrum of medical experts from all parts of the world. A grant from the Swedish Government sponsored attendees from many developing countries where the AIDS crisis severely impacts sexual health, and where basic sexual rights in areas such as education, healthcare, and individual choice are largely unrecognized. In his welcome, WAS president, Eusebio Rubio-Aurioles, MD, PhD, said, "Sexual health is a prerequisite for wellness and the fulfillment of human potential. Human development cannot be achieved without sexual health: this is true for the individual, as it is for the couple, the community and for societies everywhere. Today, sexual health and the attainment of sexual rights for all need the urgent attention of the world's professionals and policymakers, as well as that of society at large. Actions to increase the respect and promotion of sexual rights and to improve sexual health are global priorities."
PHS poster presentations included
"Homophobia and Internalized Homophobia Among Men Who Have Sex with Men" Bean Robinson, PhD
"Conducting Sexuality Research Online with Hard-to-Reach Populations" Iantaffi Alessandra, PhD
Eli Coleman, PhD, participated in two symposiums "WAS: 30 years of work" and "Advocating for Sexual Health for the Millennium"
Eight principles from the Declaration for the Millennium
1. Recognize, promote, ensure and protect sexual rights for all
2. Advance toward gender equality and equity
3. Condemn, combat, and reduce all forms of sexuality related violence
4. Provide universal access to comprehensive sexuality education and information
5. Ensure that reproductive health programs recognize the centrality of sexual health
6. Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections
7. Identify, address and treat sexual concerns, dysfunctions and disorders
8. Achieve recognition of sexual pleasure as a component of holistic health and wellbeing
Read more details about these eight principles and the complete Declaration for the Millennium
PHOTO: WAS Presidents left to right Romano Forleo, Fernando Bianco, Alan Wabreck, Ruben Hernandez-Serrano, Eli Coleman, Marc Ganem, Eusebio Rubio-Aurioles
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